The New Year has passed, all three of my children are back in school, HALLELUJAH, and I am sitting with my cats on this rainy morning wondering where to begin. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, they without fail, set me up to fail. The best I can manage is to stack up 12 books by my bed and swear that this year I will read at least one each month. I usually fail. However, this year, a friend of a friend on Facebook wrote about how she and her husband each take a retreat in December to reflect on the year. They manage to steal away a weekend to hope, to plan, to list, to dream. I’m in awe of this ambition as I’ve never looked back or forward when it comes to the end of December. I barrel on into January, head down, hoping for the best, unaware and usually exhausted from the holidays. Perhaps if I had an entire weekend I could really make some resolutions, but all I have is this morning. So I will seize these thirty minutes to plan the next 357 days. Join me, it’s interactive.
First we’ll begin by making two lists. The first will be your perceived successes of 2012 and the simple things that worked for you. The second list is your perceived failures. Maybe that discount clumping clay kitty litter was a total disaster and if it was then write it down so you will remember not to buy it again. After your lists are complete expand on your best successes. What about them worked? How will you carry them into the new year?
My biggest event and success of 2012 was that my husband and I were able to finalize our adoption, and our daughter came home from Ethiopia in April. Many years of work went into getting this child home and she’s awesome!
My second great success was winning Nanowrimo!! Oh yes, I wrote a 50,000 word novel in November. It was rough and crusty and made no sense, but there are 50,000 words, a beginning, a middle and an end! It was a blast and it felt so good to finish it!! Now I must edit it this coming year! My first official goal for 2013!
My third, and maybe my most joyful success of the year, was learning how to dance. I don’t mean that I learned the two step, or the Dougie. I mean that learned to let go and dance. I was at the YMCA one morning, hating every moment on the elliptical, trying to be healthier, thinner, etc. Anyway, as I am trudging along watching ESPN I hear this music; thumping, pounding, rhythmic music and I can’t help but peek in the tiny window to the aerobic room. Inside I can see fifty women of all ages, sizes, shapes, colors and abilities rocking out to Lil Wayne and Shakira. It looked so fun! I walked away thinking that I could never, ever, EVER work up the nerve to go. I stewed about it all day. Asking myself “Why can’t I go? Everyone else is in there!” But I don’t dance and I have never danced. As the day passed I got angry and indignant. When the next class time rolled around I defied the world and I went to Zumba. I danced and danced and danced. I’m still dancing. This leads me to my grand plan for 2013 which is to crash as many weddings as possible and dance like a friggin’ fool as often as possible. I’ve got some 20 years to make up for.
There were other successes for sure and I did count finding the perfect pumpkin cookie recipe as one of them, but there were failures as well. The list wasn’t as long and that in itself made me feel pretty good about this past year. The problem with a failure list is that I don’t really mind mistakes. I pride myself on trying new things and if they don’t work for me, well… at least I had a new experience. I also see mistakes as learning opportunities. For example, I got a rescue parrot last year. Stupidest thing I’ve ever done! Damn thing hates me and is as bald as a naked mole rat. So…EPIC FAIL! Will I ever get another rescue parrot? NO! (That’s a lie, I’m a sucker.) But it could have been a learning experience for someone with better boundaries. Therefore, unless I’ve divorced my husband, ended up in the ER or had a car wreck, I usually feel like the year went pretty well.